[promoted from the diaries by haystack...this is an excellent read]
With apologies to AG, we won this week, and we won big. But AG is right, it's time to whip it.
I won on Tuesday. I woke up on Wednesday morning and my first thought was...
...because I had stood for central committee partly to set an example for my 12 year old son Erik who died suddenly in April. When Erik eventually understood what I was doing, he was excited and proud. He knew I was doing it partly to set an example for him.
You have to understand who I am. I'm a cyber-caveman who writes software and blog posts. I fly into a rage when the phone rings breaking my concentration. I hate people. I like solitude. I hate lying, scheming, devious politicians.
Now I are one. Politician, anyway.
My son, when he stayed at my house every other weekend and over school holidays, knew it was no use trying to engage Dad in the morning until I had my coffee, had cleared the online help desk, and had read Redstate and Hot Air. That was OK. He had caught the fever too and he had his own online morning ritual ablutions. Then we'd get in the truck and go fishing... or go do some service work... or go down to the PD where I volunteer. Once we did the legendary All-American Cross Country Road Trip to NC from LA. A month with my son on the road. Without Redstate. Just us. Awesome.
But I had the thought one morning just before I caught one of Coldwarrior's exhortations to get off the keyboard and out in the street. 'Why am I typing when I should be out meeting my neighbors?' Then Coldwarrior's words reinforced that thought.
I was sitting in front of my party county secretary that same day, finding out what I had to do to be on the central committee. The next day I was at the courthouse pulling my papers to be a CC candidate.
...rather, you produced a win for me...
Erik had ambitions (actually a lock) to attend West Point and eventually lead his platoon on a little walk in the woods. I was trying to add to that ambition a certainty that a little walk in the sunshine was also his duty in the precinct.
A real man also has a burning ambition to genuinely serve his neighbors. OMG, the personal demons I had to overcome to try to teach him that.
I began to learn what it would take to be a genuine public servant. An elected party official. A successful campaigner. An effective player. An ability to work with perceived enemies as well as my birds of a feather. All those things I hate about politicians.
I took a couple of those walks in the sunshine to get my petitions signed and I met my neighbors. I acquired an awesome mentor - my own district CC chair (also a renegade) who took me under her wing and guided me. She lives in the precinct right next door to PDI's sample precinct map (PROCINCT's is much better - try zooming in to street-view and imagine what that will do for a precinct captain). What an amazing woman. She has taught me well. If I can mentor others half as well, I'll be a complete success.
It's not only essential that we get away from whining on the keyboard, it's also very, very easy. And I grudgingly admit, sorta fun. Folks, there is little to no competition out there. I say that as a new CC member in the largest Republican county in the nation: Los Angeles. Running and winning was a cakewalk. Sitting and whining is the real ordeal. It's a topic for a totally different post, but the parties everywhere are entirely satisfied with having no precinct operations - they can govern their party through the media and micro-targeting. They certainly don't want to have to reckon with you.
For only a while longer.
I spent $250 to win my campaign and sit among the seven who won, of the 12 who ran. I started my 'political career' by being the biggest spender in the race. $150 to be on a slate mailer. $50 for Constant Contact for 2 mass emails. $50 for the data from the courthouse that eventually became PROCINCT.
Yes, it was the ideas more than the money that got me elected. Ideas that my son shared with in his heart along with me.
...and I'm glad I had some small clue of my obligation to you, even if my clues weren't complete...
Put your manhood or your womanhood but especially your citizenship on the line along with your scathing words online. In these days when citizenship seems to mean less and less, there is one certain way to separate yourself forever and for certain from the illegal alien. Stand for your CC. Get elected. Do the one thing that an alien can never, ever do: take that walk in the sunshine and ask your neighbors for their vote.
...you are inspiring me further...
I tried to teach you to be a leader. That if you discover that you can lead, then you must lead. You were learning that lesson very well.
Now I learn that people trust me. They trust this cyber-caveman who flies into a rage when the phone rings. They trusted me with a precinct. Then they gave me precinct operations for the entire district. Then they appointed me as an alternate CC. Then the voters indicated that they trust me. That's just four months of very part-time work, folks. What could I do in two years? What am I going to do with that trust? Well first of all, I'm going to stand for chairman of my district. I've done the above and I've delivered that funky PROCINCT online software for precinct captains and district captains. I'm going to fight for the chairmanship for my district because I have the vision, the energy and the tools. And I'll produce the relationships, learning along the way. Others here in the neighborhood think so too. I know today that I have the votes in my pocket to claim that district chairmanship. And I will. And I will use it. Boy will I ever use it.
Obama, you may be looking for an ass to kick, but I solemnly promise you a memorable electoral ass-kicking from my district here in LA. And the neighboring districts. We are forming a relationship with the voters here that has not existed for 50 years. We won't 'be there' by this November, but we will be unstoppable in Nov 2012. The media and the micro-targeting will begin to stop working for you as my people get to know their neighbors face-to-face. We don't even have to proselytize - all we have to do is hold a context, care about results, and serve.
And any other GOP precinct captain or district captain in the US who wants my help, well you have it. I have good help to give you.
Whip It Good: Erik was learning that to be a soldier, you had to follow orders. That applies to us, too. We signed up for this, we weren't drafted. We took the oath to support the Republican candidate. We are called on now to stand and deliver. Yes, I was for DeVore and Poizner. Mag and Carly are our candidates, and they are my darlings. The voters told us they trusted us. Twice they told us that. Were they right? I had to whip one of my own committeemen into line just last night right in the CC meeting. He's young. He'll learn.
The night my son died, I said among friends who would not misunderstand... 'I know there is a pony in here somewhere.' PROCINCT is the pony. This is the legacy of a 12 year old boy. What could be more amazing?
You won... you produced a Dad who could...
Take that walk in the sunshine. Take many of them.